It was a franchise defining moment for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night at home against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Finals series.
Brooklyn held a 3-2 series lead after Kevin Durant’s virtuous performance in Game 5, leaving dollars on the brink of elimination. After falling in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Miami Heat last season, Milwaukee needed to make a statement.
Could he be a legitimate championship contender with the Greek Freak leading the charge or would the organization face major changes following another premature exit from the playoffs?
With Khris Middleton putting on one of the best performances of his career, the Milwaukee Bucks amply answered the call. They opened an 11-point lead at the half. And after the Nets cut the lead to five in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee rushed out to win 104-89.
Middleton scored 38 points on a resounding 11 of 16 shots while adding 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Giannis added 30 points and 17 rebounds. The two Milwaukee Bucks All-Stars got to play in what could have been the most important game in franchise history. They were also able to top another 30+ point performance from Durant.
All of this sets the stage for Game 7 on Saturday night from downtown Barclays in Brooklyn in what promises to be an epic showdown.